(Pakistan Point News - 16th May, 2021) DUBAI, 16th May 2021 (WAM) - The Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education (AGFE) has awarded 255 scholarships to underserved Arab youth at Arizona State University (ASU) to pursue their online master's degrees as it closes the final application cycles of its Al Ghurair Open Learning Scholars Program (OLSP). This will bring the total number of scholars enrolled as part of the OLSP to 550 since its launch in 2017.
The awardees represent 17 nationalities across the Arab region, with women making up over half of the group, and 40% being first-generation university students - the first in their families to pursue higher education.
The scholarships cover a range of programs including engineering, technology, health, education, and sustainability, among others. These programs were specifically selected by AGFE for being in fields that are in high demand within the region, with the objective of bridging the knowledge and skill gaps which exist in the workforce today and allowing for talent to grow and stay in the region.
To ensure the highest quality of programs offered through the OLSP, AGFE has partnered with ASU, which has been ranked the most innovative university in the United States by U.S. news & World Report for the past five years due to its leadership in online learning. Though the pandemic has caused the popularity of online learning to surge, AGFE has been a leader in advocating for the development of high-quality online education since the program’s inception in 2017.
Dr. Sonia Ben Jaafar, Chief Executive Officer of AGFE said: "The success of our OLSP in partnership with ASU, continues to elevate the state of Arab youth in the region. We are really pleased to be welcoming another round of scholars and continue to lay down pathways that inspire young Arabs to pursue high quality online learning in the future. Having been advocates and supporters of high-quality online learning since 2017, we are fortunate to be in this position, ready to provide these opportunities to the underserved youth in these challenging times. Since the start of the global pandemic, we have seen a huge surge in demand for the online scholarship program and we are grateful to be able to help."
Having provided scholarships for online programs with ASU for the past 4 years, the Foundation has seen a sharp increase in demand since the onset of the pandemic, with the average number of applications received per round increasing by nearly 60%.
The AGFE has offered scholarships and is continuing to grow and cater to the needs of the youth. The Foundation is also helping regional universities improve their capacity towards scaling their online programs, to meet the growing needs in the region and assure the advancement of online Arab higher education.